If you have a sweet tooth, you might be worried about finding cavities next time you pay your dentist a visit. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to protect your teeth and still eat your favorite desserts. Try these ten easy tricks for eating sweets without ruining your teeth!
1. Chew gum.
Yes, you read that correctly. Certain chewing gums can actually help your teeth. Gum with the ingredient called xylitol helps to reduce the harmful bacteria in your mouth and boosts your saliva production (to rinse away food debris). So after your dessert, try chewing on a piece of gum!
2. Drink water.
Fluoridated water helps to strengthen your dental enamel and ward off cavities. Also, drinking immediately after you eat dessert helps to wash away the sugars before the harmful bacteria can feed on them.
3. Try disposable toothbrushes.
The best way to protect your teeth from cavities is to brush your teeth after you eat. However, that can be quite difficult to do if you’re always on the go! That’s why we recommend trying disposable toothbrushes, so you can clean your teeth while you’re on the move. (There are a number of eco-friendly disposable options as well!)
4. Don’t forget to floss.
While flossing is one of the most important elements of a dental hygiene routine, many of our patients tend to skip this step! Flossing helps to remove the plaque and food debris from between your teeth and gums. This allows you to prevent serious oral health issues like cavities and even gum disease. Therefore, after your dessert, make sure you quickly floss your teeth!
5. Opt for low-sugar desserts.
Sugars are bad for your oral health because they feed the bacteria that naturally form on your teeth, which then release harmful acids onto your dental enamel. Therefore, low sugar dessert options like fruit or sugarless cake can satisfy the cravings without the damage.
6. Avoid chewy or sticky sweets.
Some desserts are certainly worse for your teeth than others. We recommend avoiding sticky sweets like caramels or toffee that get stuck in your teeth for long periods of time. Otherwise, these sugars can get lodged into your teeth, which allows more time for the bacteria to feed on them.
7. Balance it out.
It is important to have a well-balanced diet! Therefore, make sure you’re not eating too much sugar in any given day. Eating leafy greens, dairy products, and fibrous fruits and vegetables can all strengthen your teeth, preparing them for those moments where you do indulge.
8. Eat quickly.
When you eat sugars, the bacteria in plaque take about 20 minutes from your first bite to metabolize them and begin releasing acids onto your enamel. Therefore, eating your dessert quickly gives you time to brush your teeth before the “acid attacks” can begin. However, if you pick at your dessert over a longer period of time, this gives these harmful bacteria more time to do their damage.
9. Bring mouthwash.
While brushing and flossing after your meal is ideal, we know this isn’t always easy! Therefore, consider bringing mouthwash with you instead. Swishing with mouth rinse after you eat dessert allows you to kill some of the bacteria that could cause damage to your teeth.
10. Schedule a dentist appointment.
If you’re a dessert lover, it is important that you stay on top of your oral health! Make sure to visit your dentist at least once every six months to keep your teeth and gums in great condition.
To schedule your next routine dental visit, call TruBlu Dentistry in Burbank, Hegewisch, or Chicago today!